Since officially starting the Northwest Georgia One Stop Project in July 1996, we have held more than 35 organizational meetings to discuss the location of One Stop Career Depots in Floyd, Gordon, Haralson, Pickens, Walker, and Whitfield Counties. When we started the project, our goal was to have a project underway at Walker Technical Institute by April 1997 with plans for two more prepared by the end of June. We expanded our scope due to the heavy interest and could expand to all counties were it not for lack of staff time and funding.
The interest of so many agencies, businesses, technical schools and colleges, and individuals in either participating in or supporting the project has been encouraging. People have expressed many reasons for their interest. Universally, however, has been the desire to improve customer service, extend limited resources, and avoid duplication of services and efforts. Everyone wins in a one stop service delivery system.
The Northwest Georgia One Stop Workforce Development Project was started at the initiative of Gwen Dellinger, Manager, Northwest Georgia Job Training Partnership Program; Dr. Ray Brooks, President, Walker Technical Institute; Dot Hale, Manager, Northwest Georgia Department of Labor Field Service Office; and Elizabeth Hasty, Manager, Walker County Department of Family and Children Services.
Ray, Dot, and Elizabeth have served on the Private Industry Council for many years. When they began hearing from Gwen about the Department of Labor's initiative to implement a one stop workforce development system throughout the United States, they agreed immediately that Northwest Georgia could greatly benefit from the one stop system and resolved that one would be implemented. Ray offered space at Walker Technical Institute, and we had our first location.
Gwen met with Ruby Sherrill, former JTPA Coordinator for the Department of Technical and Adult Education (DTAE), and Ann Shirra, Department of Labor Job Training Division, to discuss the possibilities for developing the system and funding a program coordinator. DTAE agree that innovative community projects were an activity for which Section 123 funds could be utilized. Gwen, Ann, and Ruby worked together to develop a work program and goals and objectives for the project which was approved by the Northwest Georgia Private Industry Council and the Coosa Valley-North Georgia Council of Chief Elected Officials.
DTAE, with JTPA Section 123 funds, contracted with the North Georgia Regional Development Center to provide coordinating services for the 15-county one stop system starting July 1996. Karen Howell was selected as One Stop Coordinator and Michelle Baker as Program Assistant.
We're going to attend meetings! We postponed additional meetings in several counties while we gathered more information and gained experience. We felt that having the Walker County Career Depot operational before going forward with others would help us avoid making the same mistakes in each. From discussions with up-and-running One Stop Centers, we know that each of them experienced the same problems, delays, and frustrations. Knowledge we gain in operating Walker County will be put to use in making the implementation in other counties go faster and smoother.
By May we expect to have implementation meetings begin again in other counties.
"There is a certain relief in change, even though it be from bad to worse; as I have found in traveling in a stagecoach, that it is often a comfort to shift one's position and be bruised in a new place." --Washington Irving
Georgia Job Training Partnership Program Directors, Department of Labor (GDL) Job Training Division and Employment Services staff and Department of Family and Children Services Field Service Directors met in Atlanta March 1, 1997 at the invitation of Andrea Harper, Assistant Commissioner, GDL. The meeting provided the opportunity to learn more about the various programs and to discuss ways to coordinate and collaborate in providing services to clients under the new welfare reform legislation. The attendees all agreed that the meeting was very productive and made plans to meet regularly to further the dialogue. The discussion initiated by Gwen Dellinger about on-the-job training proved of particular interest.
In on-the-job training, a Job Training Partnership Program (JTPA) job developer locates employment for a participant. The person is employed by the business during the entire training period and receives pay and benefits at the same rate as any other employee in the position. The employer agrees that employment will continue after training if the trainee successfully completes the training plan.
The trainees benefit as they receive a much needed pay check and are trained in valuable, high-demand job skills. Employers benefit because they gain excellent employees they know are trained in the skills specified as necessary for the job. Employers are also reimbursed 50% of the wages paid during the training period. JTPA and Family and Children Services benefit because they have placed low-income, unskilled individuals in immediate employment that enables them to gain the job skills necessary to become self-sufficient.
The high wage begins down in the shop. If it is not created there it cannot get into pay envelopes. There will never be a system invented which will do away with the necessity for work. --Henry Ford
The Northwest Georgia Job Training Partnership Program (JTPA) has contracted with three area agencies to provide on-the-job training for low-income individuals, individuals receiving public assistance, individuals with disabilities, and dislocated workers. Applicants, agencies, and businesses should contact the service providers listed below for more information about their on-the-job training programs.
Advantage Resource Group, 1252 West Peachtree Street NW, Suite 400, Atlanta GA 30309, Jackie S. Back, Partner, 404/685-9191, fax 685-9195; serves Floyd, Haralson, Paulding and Polk Counties.
Vocational Transitions, Inc., P.O. Box 447, Progress Road, Ellijay GA 30540, Cheryl Cornett, Executive Director, 706/276-4722, fax 276-4732; serves Fannin, Gilmer, Gordon, Murray and Pickens Counties and serves the disabled in Whitfield County.
Georgia Department of Labor, Northwest Georgia Field Service Office, 459 Battlefield Parkway, Fort Oglethorpe GA 30742, Dot Hale, Manager, 706/861-1990, fax 861-0062; serves Catoosa, Dade, Walker and Whitfield Counties.
The Northwest Georgia Job Training Partnership Program has been one of the most successful in the state and nation. On average more than 80% of the trainees have been successful in completing on-the-job training and have averaged over $8.00 per hour in wages upon completion of training. For more information about on-the-job training and other JTPA programs, contact Gwen Dellinger, JTPA Manager, CVRDC, P.O. Box 1793, Rome GA 30163 706/295-6485.
We are indebted to many, many people for their support and contribution to the Northwest Georgia Career Depot project. We particularly want to thank the following individuals for their counsel, expertise, presence at meetings on short notice, etc., etc.
Milton Smith, U.S. Department of Labor, Region IV
Andrea Harper, Georgia Department of Labor, Job Training Division
Dr. Helen Parker, Georgia Department of Labor, Employment Services
Wynn Montgomery, Project Ideas, Kennesaw State University
We have a wide variety of written materials about One Stop Career Centers. If you have an interest in a particular area or just want general information, contact Karen Howell 706/272-2300 or e-mail Vandy88@aol.com.
Watch for April's newsletter with details about the grand opening of the Walker County Career Depot, the Career Depot Home Page, and a Department of Labor One Stop Conference coming to Los Angeles.
Employers, Education, and Economic Development
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Revised: Friday, 14 November 2008 11:42 AM